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Cabinet said to have resigned MPs AWAIT COURT VERDICT ON VALIDITY OF PARLIAMENT

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 22: The Cabinet members allegedly submitted their resignation letter to HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah on Sunday. According to reliable sources, the letter will be forwarded to HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to decide on the fate of the executive authority. This came a day before the Constitutional Court issues the final verdict on petitions against the results of the last legislative elections to determine the validity of the 2013 Parliament.

The resignation also came ahead of Tuesday’s parliamentary session whose agenda include the grilling requests against ministers of Municipality, Social Affairs and Education; in addition to the no-confidence motion against State Minister for Planning and Development Affairs Rola Dashti. Consequently, Tuesday’s session may not push through even if the court rules in favor of the Parliament because the government will not attend in view of its supposed resignation. Since its inauguration in August, the Parliament grilled the premier and several ministers like Dashti, State Minister for Housing Affairs Salem Al- Utheina, and Health Minister Mohammed Abdullah Al- Sabah. Meanwhile, Speaker of the Parliament Marzouq Al- Ghanem disclosed he has yet to receive an official notice on the government’s resignation. He promised to respond to all the queries of the press after the court’s announcement of the verdict.

He affirmed the legislature will respect the decision of the court - whether it rules in favor of the authority or not. Commenting on the alleged resignation of the Cabinet, MP Ali Al-Omair hopes the next government will be better and stronger with the capability to achieve the goals of the country. He was quick to add though that the Parliament has, so far, not received any official document on the resignation of the incumbent executive authority. Asked if he supports the idea of appointing more MPs to the Cabinet, Al- Omair confirmed this step is in line with the Constitution. “We support calls for the appointment of competent ministers and the parliament is full of competent lawmakers but we want balance in this matter. We wish to have a strong government with the ability to realize the aspirations of the people,” he added.

On the ruling of the Constitutional Court, Al-Omair pointed out the annulment of the Parliament is not in the best interest of the country. He said, “I do not see any indications on the need to annul the Parliament for the third time, but if it happens, we will respect the decision of the court.” Al-Omair added the presentation of grilling requests is the joint responsibility of the Parliament and the government. “We cannot continue without achievements under the pretext that many grilling requests have been presented. I call on the Parliament to lay down an effective mechanism to prevent this,” he suggested. In a related development, MP Mohammed Al-Jeeran disclosed he heard about the alleged reconciliation between the opposition, which boycotted the previous election, and the political leadership. He believes this reconciliation, if true, will serve the interests of everyone.

On the probable annulment of the Parliament and call for fresh elections; Al-Jeeran stressed this decision depends on the ruling of the Constitutional Court. He said Kuwait has a lot of challenges ahead; hence, the need for unity and cooperation between the leaders to guarantee a bright future for the country. He added, “As lawmakers, our role includes taking all the necessary measures to speed up the movement of the wheels of development.”

Respect
Furthermore, MP Sultan Al-Shimmiri said they will respect the ruling of the court on the fate of the current parliament; adding that what is required now is the formation of a new government with technocrat ministers who will serve the country without favoring any group against the other. In the meantime, MP Kamel Al-Awadhi submitted a draft bill on the establishment of a public authority for the assessment of public opinion and survey. He said Kuwait is one of the first countries to conduct public opinion polls or surveys to provide decision-makers with accurate information before taking a decision. Article One of the bill states that the official name will be ‘Public Authority of Public Opinion Measurement and Survey’ under the supervision of the state minister for Cabinet Affairs. Article Three stipulates the main function of the authority as follows: to provide the executive authority with accurate data and information on various fields of interest to ease the decision-making process.

Also, Ahmed Al-Azmi submitted a proposal to the Public Authority of Agriculture Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR) to construct a well-equipped leisure park on the empty lot in Block One, Al-Dhahar. He said the vacant lot has become hazardous to the community due to the pile up of garbage there, so it is better to use the land rather than leaving it idle.


By: Abubakar A. Ibrahim and Ahmed Al-Naqeeb Arab Times Staff

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